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Scientific Labor Market a 'Pyramid' Problem?

Writing in Miller-McCune, Beryl Lieff Benderly examines "The Real Science Gap," which is not, in fact, in STEM education, she suggests, but instead is in the scientific labor market. This gap, Benderly says, represents a threat to US research prowess, and "troubling indicators suggest that … careers in science, engineering and technology hold less attraction for the most talented young Americans." This is in part because the American scientific labor market represents a "pyramid paradigm," Susan Gerbi, chair of molecular biology at Brown University, tells Miller-McCune. "Like any Ponzi scheme, she [Gerbi] fears, this one will collapse when it runs out of suckers — a stage that appears to be approaching," Benderly writes.

Blogger The Prodigal Academic also discusses "pyramid schemes" and academia in a recent post. She says that while "there are many people who bitterly accuse professors of actively setting one up and/or exploiting their students and postdocs who will 'never get jobs,'" in her opinion, that just doesn’t ring true. "I guess I don't really see much difference between academic job hunting, and job hunting in general," she writes, adding that even at the stage of "undergrad admissions, there are many more qualified people for desirable positions than available slots."

The Scan

NFTs for Genome Sharing

Nature News writes that non-fungible tokens could be a way for people to profit from sharing genomic data.

Wastewater Warning System

Time magazine writes that cities and college campuses are monitoring sewage for SARS-CoV-2, an approach officials hope lasts beyond COVID-19.

Networks to Boost Surveillance

Scientific American writes that new organizations and networks aim to improve the ability of developing countries to conduct SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance.

Genome Biology Papers on Gastric Cancer Epimutations, BUTTERFLY, GUNC Tool

In Genome Biology this week: recurrent epigenetic mutations in gastric cancer, correction tool for unique molecular identifier-based assays, and more.